29 July 2006


I actually had to ask this out loud the other day after the WORST service I've had in a Victoria restaurant in ages.

Friday, lunch rush (about 12:30) -- in the peak of tourist season,I might add -- and we (my mother, kiddo and I) decide we will part with our cash at the Wharfside Eatery.* The hostess greets us, and tracks down a kids' menu (hooray! those seemed scarce, elsewhere) and then offered to seat us "inside" because it was too windy on the outer deck. My mother requested that we not have to sit in direct sunlight (it's a peeve of mine too, to have to squint while you eat). So the hostess offers us a table in their sunroom. In direct sunlight. Um. No.

She tries again, offering us two other tables in the sun. Finally we spotted one against a wall and the hostess seemed to appologize for its very existence, but said, yes we could sit there "if we wanted to."

We did. We sat, made our decisions. Grumbled that the prices had increased considerably since our last visit, and then waited. No one came to take our drink order. Servers wandered by and bussers cleared nearby tables, but we, apparently were invisible.

After no less than TWENTY minutes, we decided this was nonsense. We got up, gathered our things, and I prepared to give the hostess an earful. We walked past two other server-types having a conversation at the bar who didn't even blink at us. Alas, the hostess was not at her post either.... so we kept walking.

(Oh, how quaint. There's even a typo in the title of their HTML page. Awwww.)


We ended up going to the restaurant in The Bay, up on the 5th floor. It's a cafeteria-style restaurant and the prices reflect that, but the staff are constantly bustling around clearing tables and really catering to the customers. Plus there is a pretty good view of the Inner Harbour! This was the view from our table:


The bonus: Friday was some special "Carnival" celebration so there were freebies throughout the store, and every purchase at the restaurant came with a free draw -- I got a free soup and my mother got a free entree (to be used by August 31st).

*this decision was made after ruling out several other restaurants including the recently upscaled Earl's restaurant (snOOOoty hostess), Ric's restaurant (no kid's meals), and ReBar (which I love, but didn't suit my Mother).

tags: restaurants, customer disservice, victoriabc


tinkernoonoo said...

It's great to know the Wharfside is carrying on its long tradition of disgusting food and horrible service! (I worked there for a few years in the early '90s, and "hellhole" doesn't even begin to describe the state of the kitchen. The salsa used to move of its own volition) :/

Cheryl said...

Yeah, my sister-in-law said more or less the same thing about the kitchen (she does janitorial around the city); I kinda feel like we dodged a bullet.

Ted said...

Nice to see that some places maintain consistency. Our extended family went there a couple of years ago and received the same prompt, courteous service. Add in the 30-40% surcharge for the "view" and needless to say I will never reccomend the place to anyone.

Oh, and just to be annoying we had to pass through a series of hostesses. The first of whom wanted us to take her "ticket" so she would get credit for the "sale" even though we had a reservation. Blech!